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Feedback Related Negativity as a Neural Reinforcement Learning Mechanism for Social Conformity

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dc.contributor.advisor Compton, Rebecca J. (Rebecca Jean) Rao, Monica 2014-04-02T14:57:42Z 2014-04-02T14:57:42Z 2010
dc.description.abstract The present study examines the reinforcement learning theory of anterior cingulate cortex as a mechanism for social conformity. Experimenters hypothesized that the exposure of conflicting social feedback during a socially related task would cause a feedback-related negativity (FRN) peak to occur, negatively reinforcing socially deviant behavior as error. The conflicting feedback was also hypothesized to lead to a behavior change during a similar second task. Lastly, we predicted that a larger FRN, and thus behavior change would occur in participants with an average level of self esteem. 30 male and female college students were recruited as participants, and electroencephalogram was used to measure the occurrence of FRN. Results showed that FRN did occur in response to conflicting feedback, and it was accompanied with a behavior change where subsequent responses were more similar to the previous feedback. While no self esteem differences related to conformity or FRN were observed, the reinforcement learning theory was supported by the results, implying that the FRN is responsible for some social conformity behavior.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Conformity -- Physiological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Conformity -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Feedback (Psychology)
dc.title Feedback Related Negativity as a Neural Reinforcement Learning Mechanism for Social Conformity
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only

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